Phodnicha bhaat is an easy Maharashtrian-style seasoned rice recipe and a great way to use leftover rice. This delicious and simple Indian fried rice is made with leftover rice, onion, turmeric, and herbs. It makes an excellent quick meal and lunchbox box option that is ready in 20 mins.
Do you have some leftover rice and wondering what can you do with it? Try Phodnicha Bhaat.
This Indian-style fried rice is one of the easy and tasty ways to use leftover rice.
It gives the rice from last night a completely different flavor, taste, and beautiful yellow color.
It is a simple yet delicious meal that you can make in less than 20 mins and one of our favorite lunch box recipes too.
What is Phonicha Bhaat?
Phodnicha bhaat or Fodnicha bhat is a Maharashtrian-style seasoned rice recipe.
Here “Phodni refers to tempering (tadka) and bhaat (or Bhat) means rice in Marathi. So Phodnicha bhaat is spicy tempered rice, Tadka rice, or a very simple and basic Indian-style fried rice in English.
It is basically a quick rice stirfry to give some flavor and color to the leftover rice from last night.
Every region in India has its own style of making Phodnicha bhat. In Gujrat, this recipe is known as Vagharelo bhaat where “Vaghar” means tempering/tadka. The South Indian version of this is called lemon rice.
This stir-fried leftover rice recipe is very versatile and can be easily adapted to your tastebuds and the ingredients available.
To make Phodnciha bhat all you have to do is make the tempering, cook the onions and veggies (optional), season with spices, add rice and finish with cilantro and lemon juice.
Within 20 mins you have a delicious wholesome meal ready using leftover rice.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy, quick, and simple
- A delicious way to use leftover rice, zero wastage
- Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free
- Perfect even for beginners
- A complete meal on its own or serve as a side
- Perfect for a lunchbox or quick meals.
Rice - Leftover rice works best for this recipe. You can use any variety of rice like Basmati, Sona masoori, or white or even brown rice.
For tempering - you will need the basics like mustard seeds (rai), cumin seeds (zeera), asafoetida (hing), fresh curry leaves (don't skip these), green chilies (adjust to your spice level), and some cilantro stems (optional).
The curry leaves and cilantro stems add a very fresh herby flavor to the recipe and highly recommend it. You can add green chilies based on your spice level tolerance.
Spices - turmeric powder, salt, and sugar are all you need. Sugar helps balance all the flavors and a little goes a long way.
Veggies - I have used yellow onion and green peas. You can also use red onions, scallions, or even green onions but the taste will vary accordingly. Like wise, you can add more veggies like bell pepper, carrots, cauliflower, and corn to make it more nutritious.
Cilantro - I use both the Cilantro leaves (coriander leaves) and stems (in tempering) for this recipe. The stems add a great flavor to the dish.
Lemon juice - this will add a slight tang to the rice and help bring all flavors together.
Oil - for cooking, use flavorless oil. You can use Ghee too (not vegan).
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How To Make Phodnicha Bhat (Stepwise)
1 - Heat oil in a wok or pan, add mustard seeds, and let them pop.
2 and 3 - Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chili, and cilantro stems. Mix well.
4 - Add the onions, green peas, ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix well.
5 - Cover and cook for 4-5 mins or until the peas are cooked and onions are translucent.
6 - Add the turmeric powder and saute for a min or so.
7 - Add in the cooked rice, ¼ teaspoon salt, sugar, mix gently until well combined. Saute for another 2-3 mins.
8 - Finally, squeeze in some lemon juice and add cilantro. Mix gently. Phodnicha bhaat is ready for serving!!
You can serve Phodnicha bhaat hot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a quick brunch on its own or with a side of plain yogurt, raita, and/or pickle. Or add a fried egg on top for that added protein.
It also makes an excellent side dish with curries and dal (lentil curry).
Refrigerated rice tends to get dry over time so if you are using rice a couple of days old, here are a few ways to bring back the moisture. Splash some water (tablespoon or two not more) over it while stir-frying or add a tablespoon of water to the rice and microwave for 30 seconds.
If you have clumped up leftover rice, break the lumps using the back of a fork or spoon to separate the granules without breaking them much. You can do this directly in the pan but I prefer doing it prior to adding it to the pan.
Adjust the spice levels to your choice by adding or reducing the number of green chilies. If you are making it for kids' lunch box, you can omit the green chili or make a slight slit and add for flavor.
You can replace green chili with red chili. That will change the flavor and color but still be delicious!!
Add veggies to make it more nutritious like green peas, carrots, cauliflower, corn.
For gluten-free, skip hing (asafoetida).
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, if you want to avoid onions, you can make this rice without it too or add other veggies of choice but personally love onions in this recipe.
Traditionally phodnicha bhaat is made to use the leftover rice but you can still make it using freshly cooked rice. Just ensure the cooked rice is cooled properly before making this dish. Hot rice used will cause the rice granules to stick & become lumpy.
More Rice Recipes
More Maharshtrian Recipes
Hope you enjoy this Phodnicha Bhaat recipe !! If you give this recipe a try, please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
- 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds rai
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds zeera
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida hing
- 10-15 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoon cilantro stems chopped optional
- 1 small onion finely chopped ½ cup approx
- ¼ cup green peas fresh or frozen thawed. optional
- 1-2 green chillies finely chopped or to taste, using thai chili, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 cups cooked rice using basmati rice
- ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon sugar optional
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice adjust to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- Heat oil in a wok or pan, add mustard seeds, and let them pop.
- Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chili and cilantro stems. Mix well.
- Add the onions, green peas, ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for 4-5 mins or until the peas are cooked and onions are translucent.
- Once the peas are cooked add the turmeric powder and saute on low heat for a min or so.
- Add in the cooked rice, ¼ teaspoon salt, sugar, mix gently until well combined. Saute for another 2-3 mins.
- Finally, squeeze in some lemon juice and add cilantro. Mix gently. Phodnicha bhaat is ready! Serve hot with a side of yogurt or raita or pickle or your favorite curry/dal.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Dec 12, 2012, but was republished with, step by step instructions, new photos, tips, and a video in Jan of 2022.